Use iMac as TV in Guest Bedroom/Office

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shaggy2797, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. shaggy2797 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Hey everyone,

    Apple used to have FrontRow and as all of you Mac aficionados know, it's now gone. I have bought a new office and I'm turning my home office into an office/guest bedroom.

    Since the iMac is so front and center, I'd like to have it set so that my guests could use it similar to an Apple TV and stream content while they lay in bed.

    The only option I can see is to create a guest account with all of the streaming sits setup as favorites. Then have a table with the Magic Trackpad and keyboard next to the bed for them to surf.

    Is there an easier way? Perhaps a way to use an Apple Remote? I have a 1 year old iMac which doesn't have the IR reader. So what are my choices for simplifying this?

    My mother will be our first guest and she's 60. So you can imagine how simple it needs to be so she can easily use it.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    if you have any sort of movie collection without DRM, you could set up Plex Media Server (free), and your guests could browse and watch any of your movies through its browser-based interface. Although we don't usually play ours that way (we watch on our TV via an old Roku box), the Plex interface is quite good, IMHO, and seems to work quite well.

    You can rip your DVDs and BluRay discs, add home movies, etc. The Plex server could run on that iMac or on a different machine on your network.

    As an aside, I finally had to replace my beloved 24" 2008 iMac with a 2015 iMac -- which is great, but I really miss the old machine's IR remote. I used it quite a lot playing music in iTunes. Wish they'd kept that simple IR receiver in the newer iMacs.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I think Brian is right on using a 3rd party front end to play movies and possibly connect to some streaming services. Both Plex and Kodi (formerly XBMC and where Plex was spun off from) are great options. Plex offers more complex or rather expanded capabilities with multiple devices connected while Kodi is "purebred" and simply does its job well of playing movies and has free add ons to expand its capabilities. Perhaps visiting their respective sites would be useful to you.

    For me, I have Kodi, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime (and I would be remiss not to say iTunes) easily accessible on my Mac.

    Edit add: Both Kodi and Plex can take advantage of certain wireless controllers (remotes). This might be the plus* you were looking for in a solution.

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